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Quotes: Head Coach Doug Pederson

Posted Sep 20, 2016

DOUG PEDERSON: Want to update you on a few injuries from the football game. As you know, [TE] Zach Ertz and [CB] Leodis [McKelvin], obviously, no change with them. [LB] Mychal Kendricks, nose fracture, quad contusion. He'll be fine. Again, day-to-day, but he should be okay for this weekend's game against Pittsburgh. [G] Isaac Seumalo still has the peck strain, again, day to day, and everybody else is healthy and good to go.

Q. How did Mychal break his nose?
DOUG PEDERSON: Not really sure. He took a shot to the forehead, helmet-hand type of combination. Is what I was told after the game.

Q. Any better sense of Ertz and McKelvin for Sunday?
DOUG PEDERSON: Right now, no. Again, [they’re] day-to-day. Both of those guys are healing fine, but we’ll still monitor it and see where we're at game time.

Q. Day-to-day instead of week-to-week?
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, it's still going to be game time before a decision is made.

Q. There was confusion about K Caleb Sturgis' status. Was he hurt last night? The decision to go for the 4th and goal at the 2- and 1-yard lines, did that have anything to do with Sturgis' status?
DOUG PEDERSON: Had nothing to do with his status. He was cramping during the game. My thought there, 4th and goal at the 1, if we don't get it they're at the 1-yard line, and they've got to go 99 yards. And if we score, we even separate ourselves even more. So that was the decision there.

Q. You mentioned numbers, looking at the math, just going for it on 4th down, what specific numbers do you look at? Or is it more just kind of a feel thing, risk versus reward?
DOUG PEDERSON: Sometimes, yeah. I mean, listen, sometimes it is a feel thing. It depends on how your team is playing. That's just a gut feeling that you have as a playcaller. The other thing, when you're talking about math, you're looking at where you are on the field. The actual distance of the line to gain at that time. Does a punt versus a field goal help you in those situations? So you're trying to do a quick little calculation on all of that to make those decisions. And I felt that last night all of those boxes were checked in order for us to go for it on fourth [down].

Q. It's not like you have a chart that says “punt” in this situation?
DOUG PEDERSON: No, we break with our analytical team, guys that are always crunching the numbers for us. We're taking a look at all the fourth down scenarios, not only in the league, but just in general. And having some good information going into each football game.

Q. Is there anything that can be done about the drops by WR Jordan Matthews and WR Nelson Agholor? Those are some pretty good plays that they could be making.
DOUG PEDERSON: No, they continue to work every day. You know, sometimes things like that happen. They know. They understand, they're professionals. They pride themselves in catching the football. You could tell last night they were mad at themselves. Those are, you're right, those are big plays. And we'll continue to -- I'm not going to stop calling plays to them because I know they're explosive guys for us. We've just got to continue to work.

Q. As an ex-quarterback, does it ever play on a quarterback's mind when he sees certain guys having a tough time hanging on to the ball? Does it ever enter your mind in a game if I put this up here…?
DOUG PEDERSON: No, usually in a game it doesn't because you're so focused in the football game it doesn't really matter. You're looking at spots and targets and going through your progression as a quarterback. That's one thing. And for me, as a playcaller and being in that position as a quarterback, I actually want to call plays to go right back to those guys and get them right back catching the football and focused in and letting those guys work.

Q. Your defense has allowed three scores – two touchdowns and a field goal. On all three scoring drives, there was a passing play of 40 yards or more. What has to be done to clean up those “X” plays against the defense?
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, the one last night, too, was kind of a broken play. And, again, they got in behind us and Cutler with the big arm that he has made the play to [Bears WR Alshon] Jeffery. And those are going to happen. Those are going to happen. You know, especially on broken plays where the key there is you've just got to stick with your guy. A lot of times your eyes end up in the backfield and you think the guy's going to get sacked and next thing you know he's not. And plays like that happen. Another one was on a screenplay and we were just out leveraged. We were faking a blitz, actually, and didn't get back and got caught inside. And for the long second down run there. So, you know, you look at the film, you make the corrections. You put yourself in those situations and it's just, I know this, I mean, we had an opportunity, and Carson had an opportunity to hit Nelson on a broken play, and it was unfortunate we didn't capitalize on that. But you just continue to work those situations and put yourself in those game situations each week.

Q. Now that there is a timeline with T Lane Johnson and his possible suspension, how do you attack it?
DOUG PEDERSON: Until I hear from the league office, Lane's my starting right tackle.

Q. But there's an appeal that's coming up on the 4th and you're going to have to look for life beyond that.
DOUG PEDERSON: Listen, if that's the case, we go back to what we did in training camp. But until that time, we're full go until then.

Q. What's your confidence in C Jason Kelce? He had two penalties on the same drive last night.
DOUG PEDERSON: Confidence is still high with him. He's a tremendous center and he’s smart. He and [QB] Carson [Wentz] are on the same page. Those things are going to happen. You're in a loud stadium. You're doing silent count. Guys are jumping the count. There are a lot of things that go into playing center in the National Football League, and the biggest thing is snapping the football. He did an outstanding job the last two games doing that. That's a tough position and things are going to happen. We just try to limit those and come back next week. You know, you get another shot, but my confidence is still 100% with him.

Q. I think you’re four-for-four on fourth downs in two games. What is your message to the players when you go out and try to execute a fourth-down play like that? 

DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, one, it definitely shows confidence in the team. It just so happened last night when we did, especially that 4th and goal, I mean, the guys were fired up. Number one, we went for it, and number two, we scored. I mean, defensively, those guys were jacked up on the sideline. They were excited. It just gives your team an advantage, I think, when you can execute those plays. And if you do it in a timely fashion, like we were talking about earlier, and in a calculated manner, it doesn't necessarily hurt your defense if they have to go back out on the field, because field position is pretty neutral at that time. So, yeah, the confidence level in the guys, it's the trust I have in them, and the execution is something that's obviously, you know, topnotch in those situations, too.

Q. When you evaluate Carson's arm strength, what do you equate it to? Obviously you've been around quarterbacks.
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, number one, yeah, he's got the length. He's got the long arm kind of wind up that generates a lot of energy, a great lower body. He's got the mechanics and the tools to throw the ball extremely hard. You know, the times that he really sets his feet and steps into his throws, he can really drive the ball to anywhere on the football field. You saw one last night with him on the run. That deep ball to Nelson on the run. I mean, those are just some of the things that he can do because of his size. So, for me and the offensive staff, it's not anything when you start looking at putting gameplans together, you don't shy away from any throw because he has the ability to do that.

Q. At times, Carson plays like a nine or 10-year vet. Have you ever been around a rookie like that before?
DOUG PEDERSON: Not at the quarterback position. Not at the quarterback position. I had [QB] Alex [Smith] in Kansas City. You know, seven, eight, nine-year guy at the time. He was that way. Of course, in Green Bay there were more veteran guys, but this is what I'm seeing out of Carson right now on the sideline. And he and I are dialoguing on the sideline. He's constantly with [offensive coordinator] Frank [Reich] and with the guys. He's constantly playing the game in his mind, and that's what's given him, I think, an edge when he goes back out on the field, just understanding situations.

Q. What about the conversations, though, that remind you of a veteran? Is it the content?
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, number one, it's the fact that he's having them. You know, you don't see that all the time. And number two is the depth and just the actual gameplan specific things that he's seeing out there on the field. What he's hearing out on the field and coming to us and recommending. He's asking me all the time, what are you thinking on the next series? What are you thinking on the next series? So I give him two or three passes, a run or two in there. And things that we're seeing. At the same time, you know, I want to know what he's thinking because he's the one playing the game.

Q. A lot of people compare Carson to Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger just because of the way he can extend plays and all of that. Have you seen that so far?
DOUG PEDERSON: Little bit, little bit. Carson has the ability to extend plays with his legs. Ben is big, strong, physical in the pocket, hard to bring down and continues to have great vision down the field. I think that's one thing with Carson's strength is he continues to have that vision down the field when things begin to break down. So, yeah, there are a lot of similarities there. The fact that they're both very good throwers outside the pocket is a tribute to both of them.

Q. Why so much RB Darren Sproles in the running game early as opposed to RB Ryan Mathews?
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, just a change of pace a little bit. It wasn't anything necessarily specific. We had a few specific runs for Darren in the gameplan, and, again, wanted to get him some touches early. The other thing, you know, Ryan all week was still hampered with the ankle from the week before so didn't want to necessarily put everything on his shoulders. These first couple of weeks, too, it's been that running back by committee a little bit. But, you know, Ryan's such a workhorse. You saw it in the second half of the game, he kind of took it over a little bit and made some nice, tough runs. But anytime we can get Darren the ball early in a football game, it's something we'll try to do.

Q. Darren’s rushing numbers the last couple of years are not what they used to be. He's in like the 3.6 rushing yard average neighborhood since the start of last year. Do you think that's misleading or could he still be a viable, 10-carry a game type of guy?
DOUG PEDERSON: I think he could be 10 carries. The other thing is team speed on defense. Again, teams that fly around, like Chicago had great team speed and this team coming up has good team speed on defense. And they set the edge so well. They turn everything back inside. Sometimes with a speed runner in Darren, that's what teams know and teams are going to try to do.

Q. With so much attention going to Carson's first two games, how do you think your first two games went?
DOUG PEDERSON: Pretty good. Obviously the guys have worked extremely hard the first two weeks. They've prepared themselves like you want them to do. As a coach, something that I learned, too, is it is my job to get the guys ready and prepared not only mentally, but physically for the football game. But that's one thing that I'll continue to pride myself in doing. And make sure these guys are ready to go every week. It's a new set of challenges each week. You've got to put this one to rest and move on. But I've been pleased. Two-and-zero is a good start to the season. It's still a lot of hard work and a lot of road left ahead of us.

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